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Past Expectations and Beliefs with Thought
When talking abut what we think is going to happen in the future, we can use think + will / going to.
I think they’re going to be very happy together.
She thinks you’ll get sick if you eat any more cake.
Now imagine it is several weeks or months later, and we’re describing the same thoughts, but they’re now in the past. We often use this form to compare what we thought in the past with what actually happened:
I thought they were going to be very happy together. (In fact, they aren’t happy together.)
She thought you’d (you would) get sick if you are ate any more cake. (And that’s what happened: you ate more cake, and you got sick.)
Invitations with Was / Were Wondering + Would Like
We were wondering if your friends would like to come to.
I was wondering if you’d like to move into the apartment while I’m away.
Omission of Initial Verb in Questions
In colloquial English we often leave out auxiliary verbs like Are you, Do you
or Did you
from the start of questions, when the meaning is still clear:
- Are you back from your vacation? > Back from your vacation?
- Did you have a good time? > Have a good time?
- Do you know what I mean? > Know what I mean?
Use the Second Conditional to talk about an imaginary / hypothetical situation.
- If + Past Simple, would / wouldn’t + Infinitive
- If I had a job, I’d have some money.
- If he wanted help, he wouldn’t ask me.
- If we didn’t spend much so money, we wouldn’t have to work so much.
- Would / wouldn’t + Infinitive + if + Past Simple
- I’d have some money if I had a job.
- He wouldn’t ask me if he wanted help.
- We wouldn’t have to walk so much if we didn’t spend so much money.
- If + Past Simple, could + InfinitiveIf I had some money, I could buy some new clothes.
- If there were more trains, we could cat an earlier flight.
- Could + infinitive + if + Past Simple
- I could buy some new clothes if I had some money.
- We could catch an earlier flight if there were more trains.
- First Conditional / Second ConditionalCompare the first and second conditionals.
- First Conditional: I’ll do it if I have time.
- (a possible situation – perhaps I will have time)
- Second Conditional: I’d do it if I had a time.
- (an imaginary / hypothetical situation – I don’t have time)
What if … + First Conditional or Second Conditional
- What if she comes looking for you?
- What will happen if she comes looking for you?
- What if someone stole my TV?
- What would happen if someone stole my TV?
Certain to + Adverb
He’s certain to try and get her back.
There’s certain to be a delay at the airport.
Used to + verb
described habits and states in the past.
For example, Angela used to be
unhealthy, but the she changed her lifestyle.
- I used to eat a lot of unhealthy food, but now I mostly eat fruit and salads.
- I used to drive everywhere, but now I usually work or cycle.
- I always used to take the elevator, but now I always use the stairs.
- I used to weight about 180 pounds, but now I’m just 125 pounds.
Would you Mind…? + Gerund
- Would you mind giving me an explanation?
- Would you mind giving me a clean glass?
- Would you mind not standing there?
so + adjective / such a + adjective + noun
so + much / many / such a + a lot of
- so + adjective / such a + adjective + noun
- This meal is so good!
- This is such a good meal!
- Your cat’s so fat!
- That’s such a fat cat!
so + much / many / such a + a lot of
- Thejourney was so long!
- It was such a long journey!
- He makes so much money.
- He makes such a lot of money.
- She has so many friends.
- She has such a lot of friends.
I used to think: “I’ve got such a clever Daddy; he makes so much money, and we live in such a lovely apartment, and we go on all these expensive vacations.”
As if + Verb in Past Tense
We use this structure when someone’s actions or beliefs are different from the way things really are. Notice that it’s very similar to the first part of the second conditional (the part after if).
- For example:Don’t talk to me as if I was a child. (I’m not a child, I’m 25 years old!)
- She looked at me as if I was mad. (I’m not mad.)
- Do you want me to go on as if it didn’t matter to me? (It does matter to me, a lot.)
Suggestions / Invitations with Thought + Would / Could
- I thought it would be nice to buy him a birthday present.
- I thought we could have lunch together on Sunday.
- I thought I’d let you know that I’m leaving the country tomorrow.
- We thought you could meet us in the hotel bar.
Both / Either
- New York and Tokyo are both very big cities.
- I wouldn’t like to live in either of them.
- A: You can have either fruit salad or ice cream.
- B: Can’t I have both?
- A: No, you can’t!
Look at these sentences:
- You want your team to win every game.
- You get really wrapped up in the game.
- If you’re going to play the college football, you’ve got to be extremely talented.
In these sentences, you
doesn’t mean one person – it means people in general.
As far as + Concerned
We use this structure in two ways:
- 1. to talk about what someone thinks.
- As far as I’m concerned, you can do what you want.
- It’s a waste of time as far as he’s concerned.
- 2. to introduce a topic of conversation.
- As far as sports facilities are concerned, this university is one of the best in the country.
- As far as money’s concerned, you can have as much as you need.
Adding Do for Emphasis
- It seems strange.
- It does seem strange.
- They talk a lot.
- They do talk a lot.
No Matter + Question Word
- You have pay to enter, no matter who you are.
- I want one, no matter how much it costs.
- I’ll find you, no matter where you are.
Where as a Relative Pronouns
- We’re here at the stadium where, later today, the team will play a game.
- This is the house where I was born.
- I found your keys where you left them – in your coat pocket.
Wherever, Whenever, Whatever for Emphasis
- Come when you like.
- Come whenever you like.
- Do what you want.
- Do whatever you want.
- Wherever there’s radio, you can listen to our broadcast.
- You can listen to our broadcast wherever there’s a radio.